NASA’s GRAIL Mission

GRAIL refers to Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory. GRAIL is a discovery mission programme of NASA which is currently making final launch preparations for its Sept 8 launch from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. GRAIL will use high-quality gravitational field mapping of the Moon to determine its interior structure. Its objectives are:

  1. Map the structure of the lunar crust and lithosphere
  2. Understand the asymmetric thermal evolution of the Moon
  3. Determine the subsurface structure of impact basins and the origin of lunar mascons
  4. Ascertain the temporal evolution of crustal brecciation and magmatism
  5. Constrain the deep interior structure of the Moon
  6. Place limits on the size of the Moon’s inner core

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